Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren Get Second Chance at Parenting

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Grandmother was happy to help her son and daughter-in-law out with childcare, which gave her a second chance at “raising” a child.

I never thought I would be lucky enough to get a second chance at raising a child, but I was.

In the 1950s, mothers didn’t go to work; their job was to stay at home and raise their children. Day-care centers were in short supply, so if a woman worked outside the home, either a grandmother or a neighbor was given the job of “raising” the child.

The day came when it was necessary for me to find a job outside of the home. I was fortunate that my mother took charge of my son, and just as she did me, she raised him. I gave my son quality time, but not a lot of quantity.

Another opportunity: Raising grandchildren

My son grew into a fine young man and married a wonderful woman who had a college degree and a career.

Within five years of wedded bliss, they presented me with my first grandson. My daughter-in-law was a stay-at-home mom for the first two years, but she missed her job and all that went with it. By this time, I was close to retiring from my job, so the three of us sat down and worked out a plan. I would watch my grandson, my daughter-in-law would go back to work, and my son would be happy that everyone else was happy.

Grandparents caring for grandchildren: Through the years

The next 16 years were heaven for me. I got to do all the things with my grandson that I’d missed with my own son.

I saw my grandson off to his first day of school. I was class mother for three out of the eight years he was in grammar school. I was den mother for his Cub Scout troop. I was the oldest cheerleader for the varsity swim and basketball teams when he was in high school. I chaperoned the junior and senior proms. And when he graduated high school, I was seated in the front row of the stadium to proudly watch him receive his honor.

It’s been a blessing to get to do for my grandson all the things I wasn’t able to do for his father. I am extremely grateful for a second chance at “raising” a child.

North Hollywood, California

Read more inspiring do-over stories by CAPPER’s readers in Stories About Second Chances.